The ancients effectively traversed the separate spheres of logic and myth. They created both science and gods. Thales of Miletus, considered the father of science, was the first Greek philosopher to explain the physical world in terms of natural, not supernatural, causes. The Parthenon, however, is dedicated to the goddess Athena. In pre-modern times religion, and the logos of science and mathematics, existed as independent but not mutually exclusive ways of understanding and ordering the universe. Modernity has brought into its temples of steel and glass the money lenders while casting out into the peripheral wasteland of its culture the religionists, pagan and otherwise, who know there must be more to existence than a material world. There is a spiritual emptiness in the center of our 21st century lives. A new vacuum cleaner or trip to Disneyland won’t explain the fundamental question of why we exist.
What has become of the supernatural?
To help answer that question, let’s examine what has happened to Satan.
He is a fiction, a boogieman who in movies and books is portrayed in soul stealing caricature as an enemy of God who wants to destroy man. For modern man, the devil doesn’t exist. The purpose of the myth creating him has been lost. We no longer see in him the complexity of his character and what it represents: all of us are fallen angels expressing at different times in our lives subtle and not so obvious moments of manipulation, base desires, perhaps even evilness–the dark part of human existence that is as much a part of us as the good.
When we regard Satan as nothing more than a Halloween character, a pitchfork and horns cliché, we lose a chance to understand, through him, more about ourselves.
In my novel, A Satan Carol, I wanted to take one aspect of his personality, the human feeling of abandonment, and explore its ramifications in a horror story about faith.
A Satan Carol is available at: